"The answer is yes. Happy now?"
"Answer to what?"
"It's... three, I think. Soon to be four."
Wilson shakes his head, frowns in confusion. "House, I left my decoder ring home this week. And I don't need an official Ex-Wives Tally today, if that's what this is. I just got done writing out the monthly checks."
"Idiot. Even your math can't be that faulty. You've gotta actually marry Number Four before you can divorce her. Although I'll admit, it'd be a big savings in legal fees down the road if you'd just write out the checks ahead of time."
"Oh, I get it now. First thing on your to-do list today: insult Wilson. Mission accomplished."
House shakes his head. "Fun as that'd be, it's not what I'm doing. I'm giving you the information you've been trying oh so subtly to obtain."
Wilson's face reddens; now he gets it. "I... was just a little concerned, that's all."
House picks up the prescription bottle and tosses it across his desk to Wilson. "Count 'em. It's a lot quicker than x-ray vision. You'll find eleven remaining. Ten, if you deduct the one I'm taking soon as you give 'em back. And no."
Wilson sighs. "Here we go again; this is fun. No, what?"
"No, I'm not taking extra pills because I have extra pain. I'm only doing it to annoy you. Happy?"
"Why would that make me happy?"
"Because you'll get to write me a new scrip sooner. Which means you'll get to dust off lecture number three that much sooner. It's one of my favorites, actually; 'House, there are other methods of pain control, you know!' So I'm just letting you know I'm not trying to control pain here."
"So... what are you trying to do?"
"Told you. Number one on my to-do list today is actually annoy Wilson. Mission accomplished?"
Wilson sighs again. "Always."
"Good, then. Wouldn't want to let you down." House reaches across the desk, grabs the bottle from Wilson's hand. He pops another pill as he stands and stalks smugly out of the office, leaving Wilson shaking his head in exasperation.
As soon as he's out of sight, House exhales, leans against the wall, closes his eyes. After a few seconds, he glances back towards his office. "You weren't supposed to buy that," he whispers.
House waits until he's sure his expression gives away nothing. Then, he pulls in a fortifying breath, brings the pill count up to five, and limps heavily away.
Part Two: Buying It